Quantum Minerals Strikes Deal With Manufacturer Interested in Lithium from Irgon Mine

With the advent of electric vehicles, companies worldwide are looking to lock-down a steady supply of high-grade lithium, a critical metal in making lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. For the last couple years, analysts have been debating a potential supply lithium shortfall as a result of EV sales steadily rising, government mandates outlawing fossil-fueled vehicles in the future and automakers investing billions to produce new EV lines.

China has particularly ambitious goals to support electric vehicle adoption in a bid to reign in a massive pollution problem.

It’s no secret that Quantum Minerals Corp. (TSX-V: QMC) (OTC: QMCQF) is sitting on tons (literally) of lithium at its Irgon Lithium Mine Project, within the prolific Cat Lake-Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field of southeast Manitoba. The company said on Wednesday that it inked a non-disclosure agreement with an “Asian-based manufacturing company” wanting to test the mineralization from Irgon to see if it meets it meets end-use requirements of the manufacturer's customers.

As is customary, the name of the manufacturer and its customers were kept confidential.

The Irgon Mine was once a crown jewel of the area, with infrastructure built to support what was expected to be a source of economic strength for the region due to the prolific nature of the resource. This historic resource was reported in 1955 to be 1.2 million tons grading 1.51% lithiumoxide over a strike length of 1,198 feet and to a depth of 700 feet. Unfortunately, the mine was shuttered and buildings removed before any lithium was produced due to stubbornly low metal prices. A sign was even put on the planned mine entrance clairvoyantly forecasting that the mine could be re-opened when lithium prices improve, perhaps at the hands of electric vehicles.

If the testing falls in line with previous exploration data, the anonymous manufacturer and its customers will not be disappointed. Assay results from a 2017 channel sampling program were in line with the historic data, including 1.43% Li2O over 18 meters, with a shorter sample of 1.73% Li2O over 14 meters. Other samples graded up to 4.31% Li2O, 4.0% Li2O and 3.05% Li2O across one-meter intervals.

QMC is in the midst of updating – and potential enlarging - the project’s current lithium resource by National Instrument standards. The company has hired the venerable SGS Canada to provide technical support and consulting services related to the exploration and to complete the 43-101 report.

What the Vancouver-based company is confident of is that it is a large resource. One untested area has a 3,600-foot long (1,150-foot wide at the western end) strike running east-to-west across the southern part of the property. Explorers 60 years ago knew lithium was there and there prescient call about electric vehicles may become a reality in the not-too-distant future.